Parsing the Library

I have a small collection of free books that are looking for new homes.  I no longer have the space for them and would like to find others who may enjoy them.  My only requests are that I don’t ship and you pass them along to someone once you are through.  In no particular order…

  • The Myth of a Christian Nation – Greg Boyd
  • Seizing Your Divine Moment – Erwin McManus
  • The Papa Prayer – Larry Crabb
  • Men are like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti (book and study) – Bill and Pam Farrel
  • Christians at the Cross – N.T. Wright
  • Halftime – Bob Buford
  • Strengths Finder 2.0 – Tom Rath
  • The Attributes of God – A.W. Tozer
  • The Peacemaker – Ken Sande
  • Total Church Life – Darrell W. Robinson
  • Spiritual Leadership – J. Oswald Sanders
  • Jesus, The Final Days – Craig Evans and N.T. Wright
  • Joy at Work (book and DVD) – Raymond Bakke
  • Practicing Greatness – Reggie McNeal
  • An Unstoppable Force – Erwin McManus
  • Elders and Leaders – Gene Getz
  • The Barbarian Way – Erwin McManus
  • Making Ripples – Mike Breaux
  • Standing Fast – Ed Dobson
  • Total Truth – Nancy Pearcey
  • Purpose Driven Life – Rick Warren
  • The Creative Leader – Ed Young
  • How to Change The World – David Bornstein

You can email me if you would like one or more of these and we can make arrangements to get the books.  I will update this list as requests come through.

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16 Years Ago

Sixteen years ago today, I met a young girl who forever has changed my life.

From the moment I saw her, I have been watching her grow, learn, mature and turn into the young woman she is today.  And I thank God every day for the woman she is becoming.

She is beautiful, intelligent, caring, compassionate, determined, kind and funny. She gets her sarcasm from me and everything else from her mom.  She constantly make me laugh.

Now comes a milestone birthday.  And another step in the process of breaking free.  There will be many new freedoms that come with turning 16.  But along with those freedoms come responsibility.  I know that we’re only a short time away from her getting a first job and driving and officially dating.  I told the doctor when Sammi was born that she had to be 30 to date and while I would still like to stand by that, I know that it will be impossible.  Just a word of warning to the fellas…  the interview process is excruciatingly brutal.  You still have to come through me.

Sammi, your mom and I love you very much.  You still have 2 years before you graduate high school and embark on another chapter of your story.  We believe in you more than you know.  You will begin making decisions that will affect the rest of your life.  We want you to know that although we “may be old”, we were sixteen once too.  We remember how it feels to be your age.  There will be times that you think that we are against you.  Your mom and I just want you to have every opportunity to fully become the woman that God intended.

We love you very much.  And we’re so proud of the woman you are becoming. Love you girl!

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I honestly didn’t have any expectations that things would be revealed to me during our short trip to Myrtle Beach.  The expectations that I did bring with me have all been met though.  Rhythmic waves crashing outside our window.

I did come to the realization that the past 7 months have been unhealthy from a sustainability perspective though.  With the exception of 3 days over Thanksgiving, every other day has been spent in some way, shape or form at work.  Or in work.  Or for work.

You see I have a terrible habit of working even when I am not supposed to.  And it is not honoring to my wife or my family.  And it certainly is not honoring to God.  He gave us Sabbath and other breaks for a reason.  We can not sustain the pace we set for ourselves.  It’s easy to get caught up in the lie that “it’s only a phone call” or “just let me answer a couple more emails”.

I told you previously that I had issues with work-life balance.  Nothing has changed.  I wish I could say that it did.  And now I am much more connected to the e-world than ever before.  That certainly doesn’t make it easier to disengage.

I got to thinking recently that maybe I would be missing something if I truly disengaged from the e-world.  Then I read a blog post from Anne Jackson who put it into words what I have been thinking.  Am I missing hearing what I need to hear because of all the noise that I have allowed into my life?  And that noise that I have introduced has impacted the ways I can disengage and Sabbath.

Anne wrapped up her post with the following that I has made me at least pause a bit.

I remember unplugging during Lent last year. A few of my other friends did the same and we shared a similar story:

When we were offline, the things happening around us were so much louder, so much more clear, and we were so much more present in them that it was like God screaming at us – through relationships, through nature, through solitude, through the seemingly mundane…

What changed?

Our input level?

or God’s output level?

I would tend to think our input level. We quiet down, and we hear what’s already present.

Maybe my input level needs to change.  The reveal may already be there, I’m just drowning it out with all the self-inflicted noise.

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Lightening The Load

While I am trying to get back into a more healthy rhythm, I was searching this morning – looking for writings about rest and I ran across this and wanted to share it.

Lightening The Load

The first thing we have to do
is to notice
that we’ve loaded down this camel
with so much baggage
we’ll never get through the desert alive.
Something has to go.

Then we can begin to dump
the thousand things
we’ve brought along
until even the camel has to go
and we’re walking barefoot
on the desert sand.

There’s no telling what will happen then.
But I’ve heard that someone,
walking in this way,
has seen a burning bush.

— Francis Dorff, O. Praem.

This gives a good start to today.

You can learn more about Fr. Fran here.  He’s out in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area as a writer in residence at the Norbertine Hermitage Retreat Center.

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Hopefully A Quiet Week

This week I am actually going to shut it down and Sabbath.  For more than a few hours.  For more than a day.

Thanks to a great deal at Travel Zoo, we were able to secure a hotel room at the beach for $50 per night.  Beachfront.

At this point I don’t care that it is March.  And I don’t care that the beach is in South Carolina and not Hawaii or Grand Cayman.  It’s more about getting back into a healthy rhythm.  We’re going to read and walk and nap and eat and pretty much do what we want to do.  For 3 days.  And we are looking forward to the short escape.

It has been a crazy 7 months.  Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t think that 3 days is enough time.  Especially coming off the season we have been in.  But it’s what we have and what we can afford right now.

And I will treasure it.

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A New Chapter

The page has turned and it is time to start a new chapter.

I know I haven’t don’t a good job with keeping this up to date lately – as a matter of fact nothing since last October.  To be honest there are other social media outlets that I have been using lately – most notably Facebook and Twitter.  It has been more convenient for me to update through those sites and leave this one alone for a while.

So, for the new chapter.  Pretty much a blank chapter right now.  Last week I announced that I was stepping down as the Director of Joy in Hope.  This is a ministry that I joined in September as a part of this announcement.  And it has been quite a ride for the past six months.

For me the decision to leave the organization was a very difficult one.  There are some people in Haiti whom I love and admire.  And I will miss working with them.  The decision was based on what’s best for the organization and unity of those involved.  I have equated it to the story in Acts where Paul and Barnabas had a disagreement went their separate ways.  Both served God as their ministries continued.

I believe what it all comes down to is that maybe, just maybe, God brought us all together for a season.  And that season happened to include the earthquake on January 12th.  As an organization we were able to do some pretty amazing things through the great tragedy of the quake.  If you want more insight of all the happenings from the quake and how Joy in Hope responded to the many communities in southern Haiti, I suggest you become a fan of the organization on Facebook.  There are some amazing stories out there.

So that brings me back to the new chapter.  I have absolutely no idea what this includes.  I do know that I am going to take a few weeks and process all that has gone on the past six months and especially since the earthquake.  I know my friends in Haiti are still processing everything and I have come to the realization that I need to as well.  It has been quite a season for all of us and it is going to take us all some time to effectively return to some semblance of normalcy.  However that looks.

I will be pursuing other opportunities although I can’t tell you if they are ministry/church related or a return to a secular career.  I have engaged a professional coach to help lead me through this process.

And I will try and keep this updated with the new journey I find myself on.

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What are some things that you do that you dread?  Would you do something more often if it was fun for you?  Take a look at the brilliance at Volkswagen to see how climbing stairs and throwing away trash is fun to do.

You can’t argue with results.

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